Livejournal Hacked!

The email below and a couple more very similar to it were caught in my spam filter. A couple of things became evident right off the bat. That is not the password to my email. But it is the password and email address that was associated with this Livejournal account.

Over all my years doing things with computers it has been my habit never to use the same password for more than one thing. That rule applied to setting up this Livejournal account as well.

That leads us to only one possible conclusion. Live journal was hacked. There is no other source anywhere that combination of passwords and email can be found together.

Live Journal is now a Russian owned company. As such they probably do not have to report data breaches. This assumes they know they've been hacked. Perhaps they don't know. But in anycase the first heads up I got was the scam emails.

Just a heads up, people.

I'm kind of bummed that I missed out on that naughty stuff the scammer wrote about...


Dear user of!

I am a spyware software developer.
Your account has been hacked by me in the summer of 2018.

I understand that it is hard to believe, but here is my evidence:
- I sent you this email from your account.
- Password from account [Livejournal password] (on moment of hack).

The hacking was carried out using a hardware vulnerability through which you went online (Cisco router, vulnerability CVE-2018-0296).

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A note on comments

Due to the vast number of spam entries, mostly from Russia, and Live Journal's inability to stop them I have locked down the comments to registered users only.

This kind of runs against my grain, but there does not seem to be another way.

To the spammers that made this move necessary: Die in fire. Slowly, terribly and in great pain if at all possible.

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Good bye to Papa Joe

Houston, TX - Joe Paterno, the 46 year veteran coach from Penn State, left this world last Sunday. It was a shock to those outside the family. People knew the coach was ill, but his demise was not expected this soon.

Papa Joe was assaulted in the media by righteous bastards with high sounding words about "moral duties." People felt Paterno owed more to the alleged juvenile victims of a sexual assault. Those very same people did not give so much as a nod to the fact that Paterno followed policy to the letter. Apparently the rules don't matter to them.

The cowardly trustees of Penn State University, hiding behind secret meetings and looking for scapegoats to throw under the bus fired the beloved coach. Just in case further proof was needed that none of these people have any measurable back bone what so ever, they fired him with a phone call. Not one of these trustees are worthy of the title.

Joe was sick at the end of his career. Fighting a lethal disease like cancer requires a strong will to live. You cannot help but wonder how much of Paterno's will was sapped by the unwarranted personal attacks on him. Having the remainder of what was to be his last season snatched away from him in the name of lining up sacrificial lambs almost certainly did not help that will.

Rest well Papa, you more then earned it.

Losing a game is heartbreaking. Losing your sense of excellence or worth is a tragedy.
- Joe Paterno

Ground Hog Day

South Bend, IN - In the coming New Year, 2012, both Groundhog Day and the State of the Union address will occur on the same day. This is an ironic juxtaposition of events. One involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to an insignificant creature of little intelligence for prognostication.

The other involves a groundhog.

The groundhog is like most other prophets; it delivers its prediction and then disappears.
- Bill Vaughan

They say time heals loss... They lied.

Ann Arbor, MI - A year ago today you left us to see whatever comes next. Since that time the world has been a little bit darker place without you. Your friends, coworkers and family all still miss you. We still talk of you and the times we shared together.

I hope you are happy and safe there with lots of interesting things for you to figure out and play with. If there is a heaven, for you that is what it surely would be.

Someone once said that time heals loss. I don't think the person that said that ever lost anyone close to them.

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An open letter to the powers that be at Penn State

Dear mindless idiots in charge of Penn State,

Joe Paterno is quite possibly the most straight up, by the book coach in college football today. Over the years he repeatedly demonstrated this fact on an off the field. No one, until now, has ever had the slightest reason to question Paterno's integrity or character. 

When it came to the allegations of Jerry Sandusky's pedophilia, Paterno did exactly what Penn State's rules and state law required him to do. He reported it. Everyone agrees the coach did what he was supposed to do.

Paterno isn't legally implicated in the Sandusky case; a grand jury report detailed how he followed protocol in going to Curley with a graduate assistant's account of an instance of abuse in a shower at Penn State's Lasch Football Building in March 2002. But there was never a report to law or child protection authorities — the basis for charges against Curley and Schultz — and Paterno has been condemned for not following up on such a serious issue.
- USA Today

The people doing the condemning have never been in a situation where there is a clear chain of command. Nor have they been in an environment as political as a major college sports program. Imagine going over the heads of your bosses under circumstances like that and finding out you were wrong.

Paterno played by all the rules, both written and unwritten. Now, because people at the university failed to adequately follow up on those allegations one of the most decent human beings on the planet is being put up as a sacrificial goat.

Oh one more thing. Those annual checks the college gets from grateful alumni supporting your fund raisers? You can forget about most of those. Those checks came from people who remember a more honorable time at your university.

Unintelligent people always look for a scapegoat.
- Ernest Bevin

Ten Years Ago This Morning

Tifton, GA - Ten years ago this morning I shot this sunrise picture through the smoke and dust still rising off the remains of the World Trade Center. It occurred to me then this was one birthday I would not forget. Turns out I was right.

"America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people."
- George W. Bush

Our Lady of Sound

I hope you are happy where ever you are now. Where ever that may be I know you are raising the roof. I miss you and can't help but wonder why you left us so soon.

Happy birthday Lady Melissa. See you on the other side.

Good bye to a life long friend

Pueblo, CO - Some men are brothers by birthright. Others are brothers by choice. The strongest bonds tend to come from the latter.

Regis and I first met in an ice skating arena in Denver, CO.  I think we were still in junior high or in the summer between junior high and high school. We had a lot in common. We held most forms of authority in contempt. Both of us considered rules to be guidelines rather then hard and fast boundaries. Neither of us really cared who made the rule(s) in question at the time.

Regis was the big brother I so badly needed at that point in my life. My mother did her best, but she was completely clueless as to what was involved in growing up as a young boy. My dad was a busy part time father and other then extended summer visits he wasn't around a lot during that period in my life.

Regis taught me that sometimes you have to fight if you want to be left alone. He showed me that size doesn't matter. He also taught me the value of a roll of quarters in a sock.

Of course, these lessons ran contrary to my mother's philosophy. Sadly, trying to follow my mother's line of thinking made me a target for every bully that happened to walk by. That all stopped almost overnight once the bullies found out that I was ready, willing and able to fight back.

In spite of their philosophical differences, Regis made my mother laugh many times. She liked him even though most other parents were forbidding their children to come within two miles of either of us. Looking back it occurs to me she did not know the profound impact Regis had on my life. In retrospect, I think she would have approved.

Growing up with Regis as a friend was never dull. One summer afternoon Regis stopped by the house with a pressurized water fire extinguisher. Regis showing up with unusual items in and of itself was not all that unusual. However, Regis felt the thing would make a fine keg and had filled it with beer. He looked at my mother and asked, "You want a beer?"

When he tried to fill a glass from the fire extinguisher the pressure was way to high. The beer went in the glass, made an instant u-turn and pretty much went up his nose. I don't think my mother ever laughed so hard in her life.

There is no doubt that Regis saved my life at least once, probably more then that. Somehow it doesn't quite seem fair that that he made it to whatever comes next ahead of me. But life has never really been fair.

When my first wife died, Regis was there. He let me mourn in my own way. That involved diving into a bottle and staying there. After a couple of months of covering for me and generally looking out for me, Regis took me aside and said, "We all know you are pretty tore up. You have the absolute right to kill yourself if you want to. But if you are going to do that, don't do it where the rest of us that care about you have to watch."

That brought me back. And he was there to help with the pain when the Jack Daniel's wore off.

Looking back on it, I think Regis changed my life in more ways then could or should be listed here.

Regis was the best man at two of my weddings. The second wedding was a formal affair with matching tuxedos and the works. To this day I can still clearly see him riding up on his Harley wearing his tux.

For most of his life Regis was big and mean looking. In reality it took a great deal to make him mad. But when that line was crossed the effect went well beyond mere appearances.

Inside that huge bulk was a heart of gold. He was quick to jump the defense of anyone in trouble or being bullied. The odds were never a consideration. His compassion was especially evident when we drove ambulance together. He was especially good with injured children.

Regis left this life suddenly last Saturday. His health had not been all that hot, but no one suspected that he was anywhere near finished. He was happy in his personal life. Most of that joy came from his mate, a wonderful woman named Joanne. They complimented each other in a way that was obvious. When he talked of her he tried to be the gruff-biker-manly-man. But I've known Regis long enough to hear the love in his voice. He adored her beyond anyone else I've seen him with.

Regis was my brother. We weren't born that way, it just happened. He made me a better person because of it. There is no way to fill the kind of void his absence is going to leave.

Today Regis is being remembered by those he was closest to. I cannot be there so I am posting this today as my own one person memorial to him.

Good bye my brother. See you on the other side.

All I want out of this life is to make the old lady happy, earn a decent living, and ride the bike once in a while.
- Regis

A follow up on circumcision

Wichita Falls, TX - Back in June of 2008 I found this guy on the side of the road in Tallahassee, FL. Under the heading of "there's something you don't see everyday" the need to stop, take a picture and hear what he had to say was overwhelming.

I wrote about it in this blog post: Circumcision causes brain damage! That post is in the top three for most comment counts. Go figure.

This morning's USA today is running a story about a ballot proposal in San Francisco that would ban circumcisions.

City elections officials confirmed Wednesday that an initiative that would ban the circumcision of males younger than 18 in San Francisco has received enough signatures to appear on the ballot. The practice would become a misdemeanor.
USA Today - Circumcision ban to appear on San Francisco ballot

Only in San Francisco…

Based on President Obama's insistence that we have to find ways to save money in healthcare a valid argument could be made for the other side of this proposal. Numerous studies from around the world show significantly lower rates of sexually transmitted diseases in circumcised males. So perhaps the government would have a vested interest making male circumcision mandatory.

Clearly the government has no place in this decision one way or the other. The thing that bothers me about this is that San Francisco is the only place in the United States where a ballot initiative like this has more then a snowball's chance in Hell of passing.

As they say around the Texas Legislature, if you can't drink their whiskey, screw their women, take their money, and vote against 'em anyway, you don't belong in office.
- Molly Ivins